|Part of Hail to the Pumpking|
|Pump King Jack|
|Starscreamers & 1 Dissonant Technomancer|
|Casualties and losses|
|Poor Helper got a little glitched.||Functional plumbing and 5 Starscreamers.|
Two horrible people hire other horrible people to prepare for a time when the first two get rid of other, very horrible non-people. It's horrible.
Pump King Jack has gotten out of hand. The Black Lodge, while not singularly focused on him by any stretch of the imagination, has only a scant few individuals in the Seattle Sprawl. These individuals have taken notice of the nightmare spirit's unrestrained growth in power and influence. Given that the locals haven't managed to put him down yet, it's been decided that it's time to take a more decisive course of action before there is even a chance of horrors appearing.
Taking place in the Plastic Jungle of Redmond, a pair of infected have erected a temporary pavilion. Lit by oil lanterns and bearing books and maps of paper instead of data slates, Herenight and his banshee entourage are there to meet shadowrunners. While some recognize Jack 'The Ripper' from previous runs, others haven't met him before. Babylon therefore feels obligated to warn her compatriots via DNI to not get too attached, since he's going to only bring them trouble if they get too involved. The Black Lodge is an extremely dangerous group to be affiliated with.
Herenight goes over the situation with Pump King Jack and emphasizes that he is a serious threat to all life, and as a result, to him. While he won't tell the runners to go in on a suicide mission, he does have the arcane and esoteric expertise of the Black Lodge to find solutions. To that end, his banshee associate pulls out three forearm-sized lanterns emitting a faint ghastly green flame. He claims that they'll absorb ambient astral emissions of the nightmare, which more experienced artificers and alchemists can then research later. They must be placed discreetly near the epicenter of Jack's domain as a spirit, which makes it a run for Babylon, one who has gained Jack's trust.
Secondarily, Herenight shows a temporary solution to contain the spread of his influence on the astral plane. Five camper trailers with careful alchemy and geomancy preparations that can form a flow of feng shui in a pentacle around the parking lot in Sophocles, mitigating, slowing or even outright stopping the spread of the background count of terror. As a sidenote, he also mentions getting any files from the commlinks of the Starscreamers ought to be handy. The point of the job is to gain intelligence about Jack as an astral entity and contain him until that information is reached and processed. Once it's done, the Black Lodge can get to work and find his spirit formula, putting an end to the Halloweener usurper once and for all. Babylon's emphatic about this plan, finding the arcane masters to be a welcome aid. The others are more careful, although La Rapide is happy to share a drink of blood with the Black Lodge banshee.
Things aren't fun. While the team drives by and Babylon infiltrates the fort under the guise of meeting Jack about her necklace and the vessel he wants to eventually inhabit, Ace gets to sneaking in under magical concealment and starts planting the lanterns. While there are some close calls, some by anthro drones powered by dissonant sprites and blasting Stevie Wonder, he manages to remain undetected. Meanwhile, Babylon's in the throne room, finding Jack to have made contact with Mana Academy, the Barrens Hogwarts. There's a small group of gangers on a field trip as well as two young teens playing chess. Jack's busy telling them a story about shadowrunners when Babylon interrupts, and while the spirit tries to defend himself, mentioning that the kids are orphans, the black mage's corrupt heart clearly still has a few strings intact that the situation plucks at.
After burying the third lantern in the barren garden of the throne room as discreetly as possible, Babylon negotiates custody of the teenagers and leaves, somewhat at the same time as Ace prepares to exfiltrate. To facilitate this smooth operation, Relay has his almost-sentient drone, Helper, zoom on in and sabotage the sewage lines of the nearby convenience store's rest rooms. While the building's been out of business for years, the plumbing's been just as good as before. Now, it explodes as a gas pocket of methane erupts in flame and the shock sends the already decrepit store collapsing into a pile of rubble. The dissonant technomancer that acts as Pump King Jack's right hand seeks to attack Helper and manages to trip it up, but not before it's boosted by a spirit's Movement power. Helper speeds on away and Relay rendezvouses with it at a safe distance, making sure it's alright. Babylon, the two kids and Ace sneak off at about the same time, while Queen hacked as many commlinks as she could in the confusion and nabbed at files when she could. She also protected Helper from technomancer attacks, let none say it wasn't helpful!
Finally, the team starts arranging for the astral containment camper trailers. Babylon tried telling Jack of a potential threat as a lie, but the mad lad flew off to check it himself instead of sending his troops. While he's busy doing other things, Babylon requests the technomancer for aid in checking out a place. The creepy monstrosity, making odd insectoid clicking noises behind its mask, tells her to take a bunch. With this, she leads the Starscreamers to the vans and has them walk right into an ambush where Ace, La Rapide, Relay and Babylon collectively curbstomp the drek out of all five, leaving them just barely alive so that they can be sacrificed inside of the trailers, supposedly completing rituals that ever so slightly disrupt the flow of feng shui and, if done in sequence, create a flow between the five trailers that prevents the spillage of Jack's spiritual domain.
Herenight's happy. So happy, in fact, that he tells the team to forget about retrieving the lanterns. It'll take time for them to be full enough to be useful and eventually he'll have someone else go get them. In the meanwhile, he offers a variety of services in payment, and failing that, his own occasional assistance. The team best not think too hard about what they've stepped into.
- May only choose one of the following:
- K-10 x 10 (5 RVP)
- Foci up to 18 Availability (Max 9 RVP)
- DOOM Super Shotgun (4 RVP)
- Datachip for Private Deltaware Run (9 RVP)
- Any excess RVP is turned into CDP at a rate of 1 RVP = 2 CDP.
- 2 CDP
- 1 Black Lodge Reputation
- Optional Contact: Jack "The Ripper" Herenight 7/1 Black Lodge Magician (7 RVP)
Player After Action Reports (AARs)
The meeting was great, always good to share a drink with the J when it's posible. And that spirit is really scarry, don't wanne meet him in person. Espechially since he hunts Infected. This is the definition of double standards. I mean I'm not the one to speak either but that's just insane. But well, I'm far enough away from this as to not concerne myself with him. If I don't get payed to do so that is. Payment was very worth it if I can follow through with it. That deltaware will be a huge game changer. But what would it be? Pain-Editor? Muscle Toner? Reflex Recorder? Damn I really need to start saving some money.
Well...this doesn't feel like we've made the world better. I disagree with the methods, even if it manages to slow the expansion of the zone. I don't have a blanket distaste for the infected, but I will never enjoy working with or for those infected individuals who do not limit their intake to preservation. I'll put a bullet in any bug spirit I see, but I'm not a huge fan of using lethal force on people caught up in Jack's radius of fear. It's...it's not that simple.
Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time before other powerful mages took notice of this business in Sophocles and started doing something about it - took them long enough, I mean really, I thought I was going to have to handle this mess myself. This Herenight guy had a pretty solid plan, and all it took was a bit of subterfuge and a few ritual murders - didn't think a goodie-goodie like Relay would go along with something like that, but thankfully he seemed to understand the necessity, and the others didn't ask too many questions. Hopefully this whole "contain the bad vibes and distill them into magic lanterns to study" thing pays dividends, because this is turning the place into even more of a powder-keg just waiting to go off. I'm sure that they know what they're doing, but still, can't trust these fraggers for a minute - gonna need to make sure they don't get their hands on Jack's formula, or this might somehow get even worse.